Spotify is all the rage these days in America, because up until last week it was only available in Europe. Luckily for me I know people in high places, so my buddy over at SiriusXM (@BenBarto) hooked me up with an invite for access to the Free Spotify account, which in the US is still closed to the public. I’ve spent the past two days d*cking around in it, and I must say that it is a wonderful service for people that love to listen to music without having to buy every album that interests you.
The easiest way to explain Spotify is to compare it to iTunes, but instead of having to buy music you’re interested in, you can just stream it without dropping a dime. With Spotify you have over 15 million pieces of music to listen to, so there’s a good chance that the service will have the group and/or song that you’re searching for. With a quick search you can be listening to a new artist within a matter of seconds. Plus, Spotify has deep integration with the popular social networks for easy sharing amongst friends, and if you’re a super music geek it even provides artist biographies and related item functionality for everyone in the database.
Currently in the US you can only get the “Free” account via an invite (try this link to get an invite), but you can pony up $5 or $10 a month to get unlimited or premium access to the service. I’ve been working with the free account, which has satisfied my musical needs greatly. The free Spotify account allows you to browse all of the content on the service and listen to it on any device hooked up to the Ether with the Spotify client installed. For the first 6 months there aren’t any restrictions on the free account, but after that you get placed on a monthly time limit. So after your initial 6 months is up, Spotify will only allow you to listen to 10 hours of music each month, and on top of that individual tracks can only be played a total of 5 times. For someone like myself I think this will be just fine, but for the hardcore music fan one of the paid packages is probably more ideal. You can see the differences between the three Spotify accounts below.
US Spotify Users Have 3 Account Options to Choose From
As you can see the primo account offers the most functionality, but it does cost $10 a month. The only thing I would like to have that is premium only is the ability to use the Spotify service on my iPhone. Without the primo account I can only sync music files that were already on my Mac, so it’s of no use to me. The Unlimited Account isn’t very sexy to me either because the only thing you really get over the free account is unlimited music play, so you won’t have the time limit restriction in place.
For now I’m sticking with the Freebie account, but due to the awesomeness of Spotify I may one day upgrade. I honestly appreciate its ability to allow me to listen to new music in full form so I can make a better decision when it comes to buying new music. It’s much better than the snipets of a track that you’ll find on Amazon or iTunes, so Spotify Free is definitely money for browsing new music before you buy it. If you don’t spend more than $120 a year on music then the free service is probably ideal for you.
I went ahead and recorded a 7 minute demo of the Spotify Free Account, so rather than me rumble on in text I thought it’d be more beneficial to you to see this service in action. The video takes you through the basics of the free account type, and it really shows off how spectacular this service is. If you love music and don’t like buying albums anymore Spotify may be the answer for you. Without further adieu I present to you Hands On with the Free US Spotify Account! You’ve been wishing that you had an invite too (try the link below to get in on the action)…
[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”
Try to get an invite here!